July 15, 2013


SUBJECT:    Appointment of Dean, Jacobs School of Engineering

It gives us great pleasure to announce that following an extensive international search, Dr. Albert P. (Al) Pisano, the FANUC Professor of Mechanical Systems in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley, has been appointed Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, effective September 1, 2013. As Dean, he will hold the prestigious Walter J. Zable Chair in Engineering. He is expected to hold faculty appointments in the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dr. Pisano is a highly respected scholar of mechanical systems, specializing in invention, design, fabrication, modeling and optimization of micro electromechanical systems (MEMS). He is the senior co-Director of the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center (BSAC), the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) on the Berkeley campus. Dr. Pisano received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University in 1981. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering, and in 2010 he was awarded the Columbia University Thomas Egleston Medal for Distinguished Engineering Achievement by notable alumni of Columbia University.

In his 30 years as a member of the Berkeley faculty, Dr. Pisano has acquired myriad academic leadership experience, recently serving as the Faculty Head of the Program Office for Operational Excellence, charged with engaging in a process of institutional change and a major restructuring of the administrative mission of the campus to achieve a savings of over $75 million per year. He has served as Acting Dean of the College of Engineering, Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and as Director of the Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL), Berkeley's largest organized research unit. From 1997 to 1999, he served as Program Manager for the MEMS Program at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, VA, where he expanded the MEMS research portfolio from 37 to 85 contracts awarded nationwide with a total research expenditure in excess of $168 million distributed over 3 fiscal years.

In the course of service, teaching and research, Dr. Pisano contributed to the excellence of the UC Berkeley campus through active engagement in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. As the Faculty Head of Operational Excellence, he took strong actions to guarantee diversity not only in the ranks of the staff who serve the University, but also in the building and operation of the Operational Excellence effort itself. In this regard, he worked to guarantee avenues for the voices of faculty, staff and students to be heard throughout the process, personally engaging with organizations that represent these diverse constituencies. As Chair of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Pisano spearheaded a strong agenda of diversity, working diligently to provide equity and inclusion to faculty, staff and students of the department. Using externally-raised philanthropic funds, he established a $50,000 per year fund (to run for 5 years for a total of $250,000) for specific equity and inclusion efforts in the Department of Mechanical Engineering as well as in the College of Engineering. He is committed to leading an inclusive Jacobs School that nourishes and develops students, staff, and faculty from a rich variety of social, economic and cultural backgrounds.

Dr. Pisano's breadth of experience as an inclusive and engaging academic leader, mentor, scholar and researcher will be invaluable for the future of the Jacobs School of Engineering. We are delighted that Al has accepted this important leadership position and ask that you join us in welcoming him to UC San Diego and supporting him in his new role. Please also join us in thanking Professor Juan C. Lasheras for his outstanding and dedicated service as Interim Dean of the Jacobs School throughout this past year.

Pradeep K. Khosla

Suresh Subramani
Executive Vice Chancellor